Similar to a debate over hot dog vendors last year, ice cream trucks are the latest area of controversy for Marietta City Council and local entrepreneurs.
First, council said the trucks are not allowed to sell products while driving through city streets. Now, they're considering whether to allow a shaved ice van to sell the treats from a city park location.
The arguments mentioned by council in opposition to the vendors included that having children running into the streets to meet the trucks is unsafe and that the food sold will contribute to child obesity.
We think those concerned about this are overthinking the issue.
Ice cream trucks have existed for generations, without leaving behind injured children, and in times when childhood obesity wasn't yet a concern.
In particular, shaved ice isn't a high calorie food. And a child having an ice cream cone or other treat on a summer day shouldn't be a problem. It's too much food and the wrong kinds of food consistently along with a lack of exercise that lead to weight gain.
In regard to the safety issue, ice cream trucks travel more slowly than most other vehicles and the driver is watching for children, unlike any other car or truck that might be traveling a particular city street.
We think the city should support these business people and allow them to stay in business, while at the same time allowing Marietta's families to enjoy a longtime hot weather tradition.